Thursday, December 31, 2020


2020, get the fuck out of here.  '21 is the jersey number of The Great One Roberto Clemente so this is guaranteed to be a fantastic year.

The final numbers:

run - 289 runs, 1611 miles, 314 hours.  73 days of run commuting.  I did get two marathons in, Salida and Pikes, and an ultra, Cheyenne Mountain.

ride - 289 rides, 2633 miles, 265 hours.  91 days of bike commutering.  And finally crossed the Alpine Loop of the bucket list.

hike - 487 hikes, 1204 miles, 460.5 hours.  Got way ahead of my 1000 mile goal back in March/April when CityRock closed down and I used those lunch hours to hump out some miles.  

To-do for 2021:

-I'm signed up for the CMC Alpine Climbing School which runs from March through mid-May.  That was a fairly significant cost ($600) so I'll devote a lot of time to learning and doing everything that throws at me.

-Climbing: 71 trips to CityRock on the year.  I'll continue to push on with last years goal of getting to 5.9/V4 in the gym.  I'm pretty much there with 5.9, and have a long way to go for the V4.  CityRock is a bit wonky right now with the COVID restrictions so I'll just keep plugging away at whatever gym time I can get.  We'll see where the CMC class takes my outdoor climbing, which was mostly absent in '20.

-As far as races, if they happen, I'll do Salida, the Garden to Peak Challenge with the Pikes Double, and the Rut.  And Chicago.  Goal for Chicago will be to run a BQ, which I happily found out is no longer 3:10 for me, but 3:20.  Not opposed to jumping into some local races but I'm not going to put them on the calendar to give me more time to explore some parts of Pikes I have yet to visit and to continue to work on that 14er list of mine which I should have finished a decade ago.

-On the guitar front, Jan 1 was my nine month mark.  I shoot to practice half an hour, five days a week, and I almost always play more.  Songs I can currently play: Bad Moon Rising by CCR, and Mad World by Tears For Fears.  Songs I am getting close to being able to play: Norwegian Wood by the Beatles and Ooh La La by Faces.  I am starting to work on the F chord, which will be super difficult and take a lot of time to nail down, but I think it will really open up some shit for me.  My guitar playing is bad, but my singing is on another level of terrible as I have a pretty monotone voice.  Will never rise above campfire playing for $100 and the dog and I'm fine with that as I'm having fun learning, and it has made the live music I've been watching even more enjoyable.  $100 has green lighted an electric guitar once I hit the year mark and I've been squirreling away some cash, and I'm starting to get pretty psyched for that.  Look for some kind of Fender strat to make an appearance in '21.

-Vanlife: the big trip will be based around the Rut.  Shoot up to Montana and get the race out of the way, then meander our way back home.  No route set yet, but some highlights will include the Mint Bar, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and Lander city park.  Other than that, lots of Fremont County, and some more exploring of the San Luis Valley.

And then just some other shit I've been bouncing around: the Ten Mile Traverse, my house to Living The Dream via Rampart Range Road, and Rumdoodle Ridge to name a few.

Monday, December 28, 2020

xmas in the valley

$100 and I found ourselves with a long weekend so we packed up and took off to the San Luis Valley. 

Left early Thursday at a strategic time that put us at Moonlight Pizza just as they opened.  Then it was up and over Poncha Pass to the Zapata Falls campground.  I expected the place to be completely empty but to my surprise there were two other people there!  Hiked over to Zapata Falls before holing up in the van for the night.

Temps were frigid.  The temp in the morning when I woke up each day was never over -3F, and it was cold enough inside the van to freeze our water bottles each night.  Dog spent a lot of time covered in down.

On Christmas day we went down to the Sand Dunes for one of our favorite hikes.  We head out Medano Pass Road for 2.5 miles, then cross the frozen creek over to the Dunes.  The scenery is unbeatable.

The hike is a tad bit sketchy when entering the Dunes (for humans, anyways, the dog crushed it).  You can see $100 in the upper left corner here, crossing a steep face of sand on her way to level ground.

Once that initial climb and traverse is out of the way, it's just fun hiking.

After the Dunes we headed in to Alamosa.  Nothing was open except the gas station.  My xmas feast:

From the gas station it's a straight shot up highway 17 to our next campsite, the UFO watchtower.  We love this place and visit often, but we hadn't spent the night since we were on our way to Vegas to get married.

Had a few beers on the sketchy but stable patio while looking for aliens, then it was back to the van to escape the chilly temps.

On Saturday we headed over to Monte Vista and hiked the wildlife refuge.  a nice 3.5 mile dirt road mosey around some wetlands.  Then it was off to Del Norte for pizza and brews at Three Barrel.  Rio Grande County has less restrictive COVID rules right now than El Paso County (where Colorado Springs is) or Alamosa County (where the Dunes are) and it was nice to be able to eat inside.  It's still easy to do the social distance thing in the Valley as there just aren't very many people there.  FYI, Chaffee County (Salida) was open and our Moonlight lunch was the first time eating inside in a long time.

After Del Norte it was off to the Sand Dunes Hot Springs for the night.  We enjoyed a two hour block in the grown up room, drinking some Eddyline beers while soaking in the hot pools.  Early night to bed, then it was back home the next day.

We did try a new burger joint on the way back.  Had seen this place for years, but had never stopped in.  Located on HWY 50 as you're entering Canon City.  Super good.

Of course, we ended the trip in style, dropping by Florence Brewing to day hello.  Just over 600 miles on the weekend.

Monday, December 21, 2020


Marc and I made the trek up Red Mountain to bring celebrate the winter solstice by sleeping on top of a hill.  Great night for it as the temps didn't drop below 30F.

Hopped on the bus near my house and got out at Manitou Brewing.

Then the quick hike up to the summit in the dark.  Few beers up there before crashing for the night.

Hoping to get out again next week for the Good Night 2020 overnighter.

Heading down to the San Luis Valley for the long weekend.  Canon City on Wednesday after work, Zapata Falls/Sand Dunes on Thursday to Saturday, hot springs on Saturday evening, then back home on Sunday.  Could be some serious low temps but we'll be prepared.

Sunday, December 20, 2020


Fri - run commute 73.  4.2 miles to work.  Ended up taking the bus home as I didn't feel like dealing with the cold.

Sat - six miles over in Red Rock Canyon.  Then we hosted one of the booze checks for the Kimchi hash 12 down downs of x-mas.  Good times.

For the week:

run - 46 miles, 7.5 hours

ride - a big fat zero - too cold

hike - 24.5 miles, just under ten hours

Sun - nursing a hangover but got out for an easy four miler on the Garden trails.  Towards the end of the run I hit my '20 running mileage goal of 1600 miles.  Done with my distance goals for the year.  1000 miles hiking, 2600 on the bike, and now the run.  Will probably keep the same goals for next year as the distances keep me in decent shape and allow time for other stuff.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

run commute 72

Tues - 7.5 mile run on the Garden runs sandwiched between some good dog hikes.  

Wed - run commute 71.  4.1 miles there, 3.5 miles home.  

Thurs - run commute 42.  4.1 miles there.  If nothing else, this lower mileage I've been doing during the darkest time of the year has cemented my local legend iron grip on the 21st to 8th street portion of the Midland Trail.

It has been unseasonably cold in the mornings here.  20F or lower every day for what seems like decades but is probably closer to a week.  Somehow the dog can sense this and it's getting harder and harder to get her out of bed in the temp is below 25F.  

Really digging the new Sancho's shirts:

Monday, December 14, 2020

incline 23

Another early morning trip up the Incline on Saturday.  If you go before 6AM you don't need a reservation.  Super cold, with recent snow, but as usual it was a good day to be on the mountain.

On Saturday evening we all jumped in the van, dog included, and went to the annual 12 beers of x-mas party at Marc & Amanda's.  Hardly any people this year, but we still wrapped a ton of brews for people.  Drank way too much and slept in the van out in front of their house.  Good times.

Hungover on Sunday but I managed to get out the door for 4.2 miles around the neighborhood.  Roads and sidewalks are a hot mess right now.  Not nearly the hot mess my beloved Steelers have been lately though.

Monday - run commute 70.  42 more miles to go to meet my '20 distance goal (1600 miles) and I'm gonna try to knock that out during this current arctic chill.

Thinking of heading down to the Sand Dunes over x-mas this year.

Thursday, December 10, 2020


Tues - bike commute 87.  6.7 miles through Sondermann there, 11.5 back home on the COVID loop.  CityRock 65 at lunch.

Wed - run commute 68.  4.4 miles  there. 4.1 back home.  CityRock 66 at lunch.  My usual run commute will be undergoing a major route change in early '21.  Once this pedestrian walkway is complete, I'll jump on it at America The Beautiful park and cross the railroad tracks over to the new Olympic museum.

Guitar lesson in the PM.  My cadet's boyfriend left some of his stuff at our house while they are all home on winter break.  Including his Taylor mini.  So that's what I'll be playing for the next few weeks.

Thurs - bike commure 88.  10.7 there, 11 back home.  Went over my 2020 bike mileage goal of 2600 miles on the way back home. 

Monday, December 07, 2020

incline 22?

Sat - my first incline in over two months.  Think it was my 22nd time this year.  Very slow as I am not in climbing shape.  But I'm starting to work on that.  Later in the afternoon I once again tested the defective bike tire by riding from Fossil to Goat Patch.  Tire still going strong.

Pretty decent week.

run - 30 miles/six hours

ride - 75 miles/8:20

hike - 20 miles/eight hours

Sun - signed in with the Incline Club, then headed up Barr Trail to No Name Creek.  Did I mention I was not in climbing shape?  Quite a bit of hiking to keep my HR below MAF.  Which for me is 140 bpm.  After the run $100, hollydog, and I headed up to Teller County to cut down our Charlie Brown christmas tree.

Mon - up early for a four mile dog hike followed by a seven mile run on the Garden roads.

New political movement happening here in Old Colorado City.  I'm behind it 100%.

Friday, December 04, 2020


Thurs - bike commute 85.  Started down the alley on the Mariachi and noticed the alley was really, really bumpy.  Looked down, and I found that it wasn't the alley but my tire.

This has happened before, and the tire is shot, so I just changed out bikes and got to work.  Seven there through Sonderman, eleven back home via the COVID loop.  CityRock 63 at lunch.

Fri - awesome early morning family hike over in the Garden.  Heard a bunch of coyotes howling, first time I've heard that in the 'hood in a while.  Later, as I went out to grab a bike and head to work, I noticed the bubble on the Mariachi tire was magically gone!  I know I'm on borrowed time until that tire explodes but I did make it the quick four miles to the office.  If it blows going to/from work I can just jump on the bus to finish the trip.  CityRock 64 at lunch.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Wednesday early afternoon football

Mon - good step back in the right direction.  Sixty minute run in Red Rock Canyon in the AM, ten mile ride in RRC for lunch, Red Mountain after work.  Due to current code red restrictions Manitou Brewing closed at 6PM so I was unable to get my weekly pint of High Ground IPA.

Tues - bike commute 84.  Ten miles there, a quick four miles back home as the temperature plummeted during the day.  CityRock, now reservation only and only allowing twenty folks in at a time, for lunch.  Got in a good garage workout after getting home.

Run commute 67 on Wednesday morning.  4.4 miles in 37 minutes.  Wanted to go further but it was still below 20F when I left.  Will run straight home after work in order to get to guitar practice on time.  No Benny's tonight as they are closed down due to COVID restrictions.

In case 2020 wasn't weird enough I will get to watch my beloved Steelers this afternoon at work.